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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
An Assassin is a stealthy character who is especially good at killing, using daggers or blowguns. They start with some deadly curare needles.

Assassins are operatives who specialize in stealth and the killing of unsuspecting victims. They are often the servants of criminal syndicates, dark lords, and other villains, but they can also be simply mercenary in their outlook, or even antiheroic, striking terror in the hearts of evildoers. They start with the tools to silently and quickly take down the living.

Preferred Races

Halfling, Troll, Demonspawn, Spriggan, Vine Stalker, and Vampire are the recommended races if you pick an Assassin background.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Assassin adds 3 to your starting Strength, 3 to your starting Intelligence and 6 to your starting Dexterity.


Assassins are a good general starting background for stealthy types; the enchanted dagger handles early-game monsters very well, while the curare and poisoned needles are excellent for taking down tougher targets. It is also a fairly versatile background: they start with more neutral stats than a Fighter or a Wizard, which means they can easily choose to take up magic, fighting, or a hybrid style.

The power of curare should not be underestimated - almost all early-game threats up to the Lair can be dealt with the slow and strong poison that curare gives, as long as the needle actually hits. This to-hit chance can be increased linearly through throwing skill and enchantment. However, it is important to conserve your curare needles to an extent - you only have 2 and there is a 1 in 6 chance that they will mulch when fired, meaning you only have 12 shots, on average. You can use the slow from curare to kite monsters, and continue firing poisoned needles at them to slowly whittle their HP down.


Prior to 0.15, the starting dagger had an enchantment of +2, +2.

Prior to 0.14, Assassins began with potions of poison identified, and had 50 gold.

Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterAssassin
Zealots BerserkerAbyssal KnightChaos Knight
Warrior-mages SkaldEnchanterTransmuterArcane MarksmanWarper
Mages WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistVenom Mage
Adventurers ArtificerWanderer